Wednesday, November 26, 2014

12256: SC Johnson’s Shifty Shifts.

Chicago Business Journal Advertising Reporter Lewis Lazare wrote a column titled, “The great migration: [SC Johnson] quietly shifts key ad accounts to Energy BBDO from Ogilvy”—and it looks like another clear case of Corporate Cultural Collusion involving Omnicom.

In 2011, Energy BBDO and Ogilvy won all of the SC Johnson business originally handled by Draftfcb. According to Lazare, “an [SC Johnson] spokeswoman…said…that the company is ‘going through a review exercise’ and added ‘it’s typical we would do this as contracts are up.’” Um, what the fuck is a “review exercise”—some sort of corrupt calisthenics? Are other agencies being invited to compete for billings? Or does SC Johnson’s boasts of being “A Family Company” mean it keeps business in the family via a nepotistic style?

Lazare speculated on the reasons behind SC Johnson surreptitiously shifting accounts from Ogilvy to Energy BBDO:

In the spring of 2013, long after [SC Johnson] had split up its advertising business between Energy BBDO and Ogilvy, Salman Amin arrived at [SC Johnson] as its chief operating officer after having served as global chief marketing officer at PepsiCo for a number of years.

At PepsiCo, Amin would have come to know BBDO and its flagship New York office quite well. BBDO for decades worked with PepsiCo on its flagship Pepsi cola brand and other PepsiCo products.

Sources say Amin had long held BBDO in high esteem. So Ogilvy may not have been too surprised to see a big chunk of its [SC Johnson] business start to move to Energy BBDO over the past year after Amin had settled in at the home products giant.

If Lazare is correct, it appears Omnicom is extending its Corporate Cultural Collusion tactics from PepsiCo and related Quaker Oats to SC Johnson.

On the one hand, SC Johnson is a lousy client and creatives’ nightmare, consistently producing crappy campaigns. At the same time, the company makes claims such as “Integrity is part of our DNA”—plus, SC Johnson displays a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion. SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson officially stated, “…cultivating inclusion and diversity is much more fundamental than driving business results. It is a vital foundation to ensure that SCJ attracts, retains and inspires the best people. That’s why the company formally launched its first diversity initiative in 1992. And it’s why we continue to make it a top priority today and into the future.” Okay, so why does the place continue to conspire with White advertising agencies where exclusivity reigns and diversity has been denied forever?

Sorry, but no amount of Glade candles can mask the stink emanating from the “review exercise” being conducted between SC Johnson, Energy BBDO and Omnicom. It’s simply an example of nepotism, cronyism and other assorted isms at work.

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